Fratton tower block snapped up in £1.5m deal to create more student accommodation in Portsmouth
PLANS to convert a prominent high-rise tower block into new student housing have taken a huge leap forward after the site was bought by £1,575,000.
Venture Tower, in Fratton Road, Fratton, has been snapped up by investment and development firm the Property Experts during an off-market deal.
Built in the 1960s, the eight-storey building already has planning permission to be converted into 97 apartments for students.
But the team from the Property Experts are seeking to ‘explore’ additional possibilities for the site, which includes extending the tower and creating 40 residential units.
There is also the opportunity to demolish the existing block and replace it with ‘a striking 15-storey building’, providing about 100 new-build apartments.
Bruce Burkitt, founder and managing director of Property Experts, said the acquisition of the tower was a ‘fantastic’ opportunity for the city.
He added: ‘We have been consciously targeting significant projects that will allow us to uncover considerable value growth and deliver a final scheme that will improve the existing setting.
‘We are currently in close discussions with Portsmouth City Council, who own the adjacent Bridge Shopping Centre, about our final plans, which we believe will greatly transform the location and produce a landmark building for the city.’
The current plans in place for Venture Tower include the conversion of the commercial premises into 97 student apartments, with communal lounges and kitchens, as well as a gym, laundry, over 30 bicycle storage spaces and a communal roof terrace.
The University of Portsmouth is home to 28,000 students, with some 5,000 students coming from overseas.
The number of students has led to increased demand for specialist accommodation in the city that the university is unable to support on campus.
The site would be built in Arundel Street, Landport, becoming the city’s second-largest residential building.
Submitted at the end of last year, the application proposed the construction of a part seven, part 21 and part 28-storey build which would house 591 student beds and four ground floor commercial units.